Raspbian vs Wheezy (beta) Mono support


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by EdwinJ85 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:50 am
Well, it is a start and a very good one. Thank you very much for your hard work. At the moment I am trying to learn Java and using the openJDK JRE, but C# is so much nicer. :(

I still think we need to talk to Xamarin and point out that arm isn't a platform they can ignore going forward.

Just a quick question, will ngen still work? If the code is changed to pure native we shouldn't have any issues right?
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by EdwinJ85 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:21 am
Also, quick idea - could we build a version of mono into the raspbian repository only using soft float calls? It wouldn't be perfect but it would at least work right?

Apologies if this has already been suggested.
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by directhex » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:04 am
No, it wouldn't work. This is what was previously provided in the archive (as there is no support at all for armhf in Mono 2.x). The short version is all floating point maths returns incorrect results, and all interactions with C libraries (P/Invoke) crash.
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by jkommeren » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:56 pm
(I contacted Directhex, Jo Shields, the developer of the mono-1 distro)

Thanks mr. Shields! :mrgreen:

With your permission I'd like to share the email you sent me
So, I've not really worked on it for a while - I'm waiting for a compatible version of Mono (3.x) to appear in any version of Debian before doing anything about it, and with the freeze ongoing, this hasn't happened.

There are really not that many things to do, and none of them are major work:

* Remove the assumption that armhf always means armv7 (the Pi people need this, as Pi is armv6 - Debian always builds armhf for armv7 though)
* Ensure that none of the changes in the armhf branch adversely affect building/running on older soft-float ARM

Long term, it's unfortunate that these changes cannot go into upstream Mono (they're LGPL and (c) Sony, so Xamarin cannot include the changes in their non-Free MonoTouch and Mono For Android products) but I don't mind Debian being the primary source for Mono on armhf.


I promised him a beer too for his hard work :D so I'm sending him a small donation via Paypal, if anyone wants to join in, his email / paypal address can be found on the github page https://github.com/directhex
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by EdwinJ85 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:58 pm
jkommeren wrote:(I contacted Directhex, Jo Shields, the developer of the mono-1 distro)

Thanks mr. Shields! :mrgreen:

With your permission I'd like to share the email you sent me
So, I've not really worked on it for a while - I'm waiting for a compatible version of Mono (3.x) to appear in any version of Debian before doing anything about it, and with the freeze ongoing, this hasn't happened.

There are really not that many things to do, and none of them are major work:

* Remove the assumption that armhf always means armv7 (the Pi people need this, as Pi is armv6 - Debian always builds armhf for armv7 though)
* Ensure that none of the changes in the armhf branch adversely affect building/running on older soft-float ARM

Long term, it's unfortunate that these changes cannot go into upstream Mono (they're LGPL and (c) Sony, so Xamarin cannot include the changes in their non-Free MonoTouch and Mono For Android products) but I don't mind Debian being the primary source for Mono on armhf.


I promised him a beer too for his hard work :D so I'm sending him a small donation via Paypal, if anyone wants to join in, his email / paypal address can be found on the github page https://github.com/directhex


That's awesome news. I'm having trouble finding the paypal link but when I do I am sending £5 of beer tokens as a thank you and more to follow when more news comes in. I hope other people chime in with us - if we want people to keep putting their hard work in we should reward them! :)
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by EdwinJ85 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:17 pm
Ah, found it. Monies have been sent to a very good cause. :)
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by Twinkletoes » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:04 pm
We have independently (with some help from Jo Shields) got Mono working a couple of weeks ago, and we're putting it through its paces here. We're about to release a set of mono binaries for Pi with installation instructions.

Which bit is (c) Sony?

Bryan
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by xfx » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:09 pm
Those are GREAT news!
Thank you for the great work.
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by plugwash » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:36 am
Twinkletoes wrote:We have independently (with some help from Jo Shields) got Mono working a couple of weeks ago, and we're putting it through its paces here. We're about to release a set of mono binaries for Pi with installation instructions.

Please also release details on what sources you used, what patches you applied to those sources and how you built it.
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by Twinkletoes » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:19 am
Will do. Our hero developer is on honeymoon having finished it the day before he left so we'll complete our testing in early jan. watch this space!!
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by EdwinJ85 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:13 pm
Twinkletoes wrote:We have independently (with some help from Jo Shields) got Mono working a couple of weeks ago, and we're putting it through its paces here. We're about to release a set of mono binaries for Pi with installation instructions.

Which bit is (c) Sony?

Bryan


FECK YES. Thanks guys.

Can we get this publish on the front page or something when it comes through? People need to know that they don't have to stick to java for pi coding anymore!

PS: would this build work on that arm chrombook running chrubuntu? That would be a godsend.
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by bfagioli » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:17 am
Twinkletoes wrote:We have independently (with some help from Jo Shields) got Mono working a couple of weeks ago, and we're putting it through its paces here. We're about to release a set of mono binaries for Pi with installation instructions.

Which bit is (c) Sony?

Bryan


Great news. A working version of mono on Raspbian hard-float would be super. This thread has given me hope. I look forward to this. Let me know if you need more testers. Keep up the great work.

By the way is that prior post implying that Sony owns some portion of mono? How can that be - I thought mono was open source.

-Bob
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by plugwash » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:08 am
bfagioli wrote:By the way is that prior post implying that Sony owns some portion of mono? How can that be - I thought mono was open source.

Just because code is opensource doesn't mean it doesn't have a copyright holder. An opensource license is a grant of permission by the copyright holder to use the work under certain conditions however the copyright holder retains the right to make the code available under other terms as well. How useful this right is depends on how much of the code they own, for example the copyright to the Linux kernel is fragmented among so many owners that it is essentially impractical for it to ever be made available under anything other than GPLv2

The default copyright holder for a work is the person or their employer (the latter in the case of a "work for hire")

Sony performed the arm hard float port of mono (originally for the psvita IIRC). Many opensource licenses including the one mono is under (a mix of GPL and LGPL iirc) have clauses requiring those who make modifications to release them under the same license (or in some cases an allowed substitute license for example the LGPL allows relicensing under the GPL but AIUI sony did not choose to excecise that option) and sony did so when it was requested (though afaict they really should have done it without being prompted).

Xamarin own the copyright to mono and offer commercial mono licenses for those who don't want to follow the terms of the opensource license. Because of this xamarin require contributors to sign over the copyright to them. Unless sony altruistically decides to do that (fat chance) the sony changes can be used by those of us who use mono under the opensource licenses but cannot go upstream.

IANAL the above is not legal advice just my understanding of the situation
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by bfagioli » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:41 pm
plugwash wrote:
bfagioli wrote:By the way is that prior post implying that Sony owns some portion of mono? How can that be - I thought mono was open source.

Just because code is opensource doesn't mean it doesn't have a copyright holder ...(some text deleted) ...Unless sony altruistically decides to do that (fat chance) the sony changes can be used by those of us who use mono under the opensource licenses but cannot go upstream.


Thank you for this detail it was very helpful. One question though. What does "but cannot go upstream" mean? It sounds bad. Like it can't be added back into a main trunk of code? Does that mean it has to be maintained off to the side somewhere?

Thanks
-Bob
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by EdwinJ85 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:57 am
The psvita runs mono?

Wow, c# is growing almost in spite of microsoft.

That said, I think microsoft hold the endgame cards here, C# is open source but not all the libraries are. If you ever called System.Win32 or Winforms on a non windows machine you have probably used something that is on shaky legal ground.

I would also like to volunteer my testing services, and does anybody have more info about c# on the vita? That I would like to read!
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by HermanSwartz » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:37 pm
Early January, any progress on release of binaries to fix mono's problem with floating point calls?
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by plugwash » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:02 am
unfortunately not, there is no way i'm packaging a new major version of mono from scratch and mono 3.x still hasn't hit debian experimental.
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by HermanSwartz » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:02 am
Twinkletoes said they have binaries and putting them through the paces. This suggests to me these binaries or how they were created are/is being shared with mono maintainers (I don't know the roles of the people in this thread) so the changes can be released in v3 of mono for Debian. I will check with the mono maintainers. Thanks Plugwash.
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by hr666 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:07 pm
Hey Guys!

Sounds like you're doing a really great job with getting this to work and getting it out there! Awesome!

I'm dying to get mono to work on my pi so I'm just wondering, what's the fastest way for me to get it up and running? From what I understand some of you made a patch? Would it be possible to get that and for me to compile it myself by simply downloading the latest mono source code and applying the patch? Or what should I do... Helpful for any suggestions!!

Thanks in advance!
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by moelski » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:54 am
Hi @all,

I´m new to the Rasp Pi and was impressed that there is a Mono package available.
But after some tests I ran into the same problems as described here in the thread.

So are there any news / hopes / updates to get Mono running in the official image?

Greetings
Dominik
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by Twinkletoes » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:44 am
I'm meeting with a UK Xamarin guy tomorrow and will see what we can come up with together. It's confirmed working here - we have a big commercial software package running on it beautifully (outside X). Just had to remove winforms references to make it work (but that's because we're not running X). P-Invoke is also confirmed working, which was one of the major things broken in wheezy.

B
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by Duke » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:52 am
Hi,

first up: Thank you guys for your good work (I can only call it great after testing it myself ;) ).

I'm probably not the only one waiting nervously for the Mono 3 port.

Wouldn't it be possible to provide a simple tarball with prebuild binarys for testing purposes?
I figure that would help alot of people here :)
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by Twinkletoes » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:08 am
That's basically my plan - we have one for internal use (saves doing the 23 hour compile...) but it includes a whole load of raspbian binaries which I need to clean out before chucking it out there.
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by Duke » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:14 am
Sounds great!

If theres something I can help with let me know.
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by HermanSwartz » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:19 am
I subscribed to the Debian mono list server using a link at "http://pkg-mono.alioth.debian.org/" to receive updates about development of the sid release of mono development. I could not tell from the page if version 3 is in development.

Herman
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